Many of you will probably know that Sally Hall co-founded the AECB and still works for the organisation. However, more recently she and her son, Keith, have branched out and set up a natural burial site on their farm. The idea came after wondering how to protect a 20 acre nature reserve Sally had created eight years ago. Over eighteen thousand native trees (23 species) were planted around circular meadows and these are now well established.
By creating the natural burial ground it is hoped that this will protect the reserve for future generations to enjoy. Planning permission was applied for last April and after many detailed reports, monitoring, consultations and discussions the project was finally given approval in December last year. A small car park has been created on an area where ash die back had killed most of the trees. Those that had survived were carefully dug up and replanted elsewhere. The emphasis is on local and sustainable so all decisions are carefully made to ensure sustainability and minimal impact on the environment. Plastic is banned. Shrouds of natural fabric are preferred but if families want coffins these should be biodegradable eg cardboard or wicker. No embalming of bodies is allowed and only local, native species can be planted on graves. However, the emphasis is also on flexibility and support for families who have lost loved ones.
DIY funerals are welcomed but the more traditional ones can also be accommodated . The site was formally opened last month and there have been two DIY burials so far, both very different but unique and special. The latest one was difficult for the family because of the current restrictions due to the coronavirus and in particular the need to minimise attendees. However, the family were able to do video links and the funeral went really well. Families are welcome to visit graves and walk the reserve at any time.
Discounts are available to AECB members who are interested in booking a plot on this beautiful natural burial site (ashes can also be interred there).